(Michael Powell,Emeric Pressburger, UK, 1944) 124 minutes


Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Producers: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Screenplay: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Photography: Erwin Hillier
Editor: John Seabourne
Music: Allan Gray
Eric Portman (Thomas Colpeper, JP)
Sheila Sim (Alison Smith)
Dennis Price (Peter Gibbs)
Sgt John Sweet (Bob Johnson)
Charles Hawtrey (Thomas Duckett)

Reviews and notes

In 1944 Powell and Pressburger made what must have been, from any point of view, the kinkiest film of the war. It was called A CANTERBURY TALE, and it was concerned with a dedicated Kentish Justice of the Peace whose extra war-effort involved him in lecturing to the locally stationed troops on archaeology and suchlike. Alarmed at the thought of the men being seduced from these delights by the local girls, he takes to going around in the black-out and pouring glue on their hair.

Repentance for these psychotic excesses is eventually achieved by the J.P. through a sort of pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral in the company of a sweet kind girl, a British soldier and an American ditto. To most people the intentiions of the film-makers remained highly mysterious; nor did this picture of British administrators of justice commend itself to the authorities, who showed some reluctance to encourage its export to our allies.
-Basil Wright, The Long View, Secker & Warburg, 1974.

Weblink: Fuller credit list, plot details and comment on its restoration

Back to screening list

Home Page | Schedule | Membership